Interview: Reflection Eternal's DJ Hi-Tek
Reflection Eternal, the hip-hop duo composed of rapper Talib Kweli and DJ Hi-Tek, are back on the road. Late last year, they released a mixtape, The RE: Union. Their second album, Revolutions Per Minute, is out today. Midnight Hour ft. Estelle, In This World, Strangers ft. Bun B, Just Begun ft. J. Cole, Jay Electronica, and Mos Def are all part of the new set. (Odd but true; Entertainment Weekly is streaming the whole album on its site now.)
They're also performing at the Grove of Anaheim on Thursday. After the jump, Hi-Tek talks about touring with Kweli, why it took them a decade to release another album and the ever eternal question we all have: When will Black Star get back together? Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek first official collaboration was in 1997. In 1998, Kweli formed Black Star with Mos Def. Hi-Tek produced a few of the songs on their debut, and in 2000, Kweli and Hi-Tek released Train of Thought.
On the phone from Hi-Tek's hometown in Cinncinati, he says that the Reflection Eternal tour has been crazy and good. "I can't complain," he says. Although the duo is known as a conscious hip-hop act that uses music as a "tool for upliftment," Hi-Tek, acknowledges that Kweli is the group's front-runner.
"I don't really rap, I get impatient," he says. "I am really more about writing music." Although he can flow with the best of them, "at the end of the day, I'm not a full-time rapper. I'm a producer/rapper," Hi-Tek says.
Kweli on the other hand, is the duo's motivation. "I respect his craft and style. He can hold down an hour-long show. My hat goes off to him," he says.
Hi-Tek is known for his willingness to collaborate with the most unlikely musicians. His 4-year-old son produced a song on his solo effort, and ("He was in the studio with me everyday and knew what I would use as a sample, so he was playing with his toys and said, 'This sounds like something my daddy would sample!'" Hi-Tek says.) and there's been rumblings of a Linkin Park collaboration. But what we really want to know is, when will Black Star get back together? "I'd love to put out another Black Star album, but I'm not the only member of Black Star!"
Here's Reflection Eternal featuring Estelle on the song "Midnight Hour" from Revolutions Per Minute:
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.